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October 07, 2012

South Korea to Extend Range of Ballistic Missiles

South Korea has announced a deal with the United States to nearly triple the range of Seoul's missile systems to cover all of North Korea.

Officials in Seoul told reporters Sunday the new deal allows South Korea to extend the maximum range of ballistic missiles from the current 300 kilometers to 800 kilometers.  The 300-kilometer limit is part of a 2001 accord with the United States.

Washington has not commented on Sunday's announcement in Seoul.

Senior South Korean presidential official Chun Young-woo told reporters the most important goal for Seoul in revising the missile guideline is to deter North Korea's military provocation.

The announcement is sure to bring an angry response from North Korea, which already has the missile capability to reach all of South Korea as well as other countries in the region.

Pyongyang says it is developing a rocket to put a satellite into orbit.  However, Seoul and the U.S. say the North's satellite program is just a disguised plan to develop long-range missiles banned under U.N. resolutions.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.